And so my love-hate relationship with school began in kindergarten. The second kindergarten I went to was a church school. It was across the street from the church where my Dad had just taken a new job. This school let out at noon, so my Daddy would come across the street and pick me up and take me home on his way home for lunch. I remember being so nervous and wanting him to come back to get me. I would "suffer" (because kindergarten is soooo stressful, you know) through the morning activities...none of which matched up to being the "drink helper". When we had recess we would go outside to the small playground which was located immediately across the street from where my Daddy parked his VW bug at work. His looked just like Herbie without the 53 on the side. I would climb up the metal jungle gym and sit on the very top and watch for my Daddy. Surely he was on his way. I was a mess!
This anxiety carried on throughout the years. I was the good little student, doing my work, wiping my tears, thinking I would never see my parents again. Every morning I would have the same sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.....the same feeling I still have today after all these years. I had good days. I tend to be a little melodramatic, though I don't admit that often. As the day progressed I would straighten up and have a wonderful time with friends. I loved my teachers. I was a good student and active in every club and activity imaginable. I guess I thought keeping very busy would trick my mind into forgetting how miserable I was!!! It usually worked.
I don't know how I ever became a teacher. The smell of school, the feeling of being TRAPPED for 10 months into a day ordered by bells and air tight schedules has always brought me days of nausea and tears. The months of stuffing down my lunch so fast in order to have time to use the restroom and check my mailbox---all in a record 25 minutes so I can be at the door to greet the next room full of eager faces will soon arrive. The days of working at a speed of unhealthy proportions in order to keep the attention of dead pan faces of students who would rather be at home or outside in the sunshine is on its way. The hours of putting on one splendid "dog and pony show" after another, only to collapse as the last bell rings and I get the reminder of the marathon faculty meeting ahead are just around the bend. The schedule of racing from intense meetings and rehearsals to get my own kids to music lessons, cook supper, help with homework, run to buy supplies for the latest school project assigned are making their way down my street....ready to knock on my door and say, "We're back!!!"
So here I sit. In two week the high speed roller coaster ride begins. It makes me nauseous just thinking about it. My nerves start to come alive and I have to once again trick my mind into thinking happy thoughts. Part of my problem is I allow myself to be consumed by work sometimes. This has caused me great anxiety and stress in the past and I am working hard at being more balanced and realistic in my view of what I can accomplish in a day, a week, and even a year. I have been learning to take one day at a time instead of looking too far down the road. It's the pace. It's the having my every bathroom break scheduled. It's the calendar that fills so full you can't see an opening of relief anywhere in sight.
I am learning to say "no". I am learning that rest is important. I am also learning that doing nothing sometimes is better than filling up an empty hour with another activity. After all, it's from silence and rest that healing begins, great works are written, songs are composed, memories with families are made, and God speaks.
I love teaching. Are you laughing? I am. I love school. Still laughing? My stomach hasn't gotten the memo. Maybe I should put it on the morning announcements! I love school! I love teaching! I love students! I love being a part of God making magical moments in the classroom through music! Once on the train, I settle in and enjoy the ride.
So I shall break out the Tums and ginger ale and get back on the train.
The view is usually spectacular....if I can stay out of the bathroom!